KB1035: DCS240 FAQ

This article was last updated on June 26, 2016, 7:35 a.m. | Print Article | Leave Feedback

DCS240 FAQ

 

I’m getting a “StealZap” or message on my DT402 rev 2 throttle. What is this?

This is a feature that helps prevent having the same address selected on multiple throttles and creating unexpected operations.  When you steal you are truly stealing control of the locomotive instead of sharing it as was the case before the DCS240 and DT402 R2 firmware were released.

When using a DT402 R2 throttle with an Advanced Command Station featuring expanded slots, each throttle ID is associated with the Loco Addresses it has selected.  When you select a Loco that is selected on another throttle the second throttle will take ownership of the Loco and it will be deselected from the first throttle. By first throttle will display “StealZap” meaning it has deselected the loco because it has been stolen by another throttle.   You always have the option to steal the loco back by selecting it again.

This feature only works when each DT402 R2 has a unique throttle ID and they are operating in expanded slots.  If all throttles have the same ID stealing will work as it has in the past and two throttles can have control of a locomotive.

When using legacy throttles prior to the DT402 R2 stealing a locomotive will still result in the loco being selected and taking commands from two or more throttles.

 

When I plug in a DT402D throttle to LocoNet, it flashes the display as normal then fades and continues to reset.

Make sure you have a charged battery installed in your DT402D.  The DT402D is attempting to power on the RF24 radio in the throttle and register with the UR92.  Without a battery it cannot draw enough power from LocoNet to complete this procedure.

If you plan to use your DT402D as a tethered throttle it is recommended that you use throttle options to turn off the throttles duplex radio capabilities.  Press OPTN and scroll to “DuplexRF”, change to OFF with the N/- key, press ENTER to save the setting.

It should also be noted that this problem will only occur when a UR92 is connected to LocoNet.  If no UR92 is connected the DT402D will connect to LocoNet as a tethered throttle without a battery.

 

How do I practically use the 400 slots available in the DCS240?  How do my throttles access the slots?

The DCS240 offers 400 locomotive slots and can support up to 400 throttles.  These slots can be broken down in to standard slots and expanded slots.  There are 120 standard slots in the DCS240, these slots are accessible using any Digitrax throttle.  There are an additional 280 expanded slots available to DT402 R2 and later throttles.  The DCS240 identifies the throttle type being used and assigns and adjusts the slots accordingly.  Expanded capability throttles are given the Expanded slots first, leaving the standard slots available for legacy throttles.  All this is done in the background and will not affect any running trains.

Practically you will likely not be using 400 throttles in your operations.  However, when consisting locomotives together loco slots can quickly be used up.  This is where expanded slots become very useful.  When building a consist using an expanded throttle the DCS240 will initially store all the locos in available expanded slots.  In a consist the throttle only needs access to the TOP loco of the consist to control the consist.  When selecting a consist using a legacy throttle only the TOP address is moved to a standard slot, the remainder of the locomotives remain in the expanded slots and they are all linked inside the DCS240.  In this way as many standard slots are left available as possible.

 

When I turn on the DCS240 and system, the DCS240 beeps 10 times and track power goes off. When I retry turning on track power, the 10 beeps occur again and the track power stays off. What is happening, and how do I fix this so I can run trains?

The DCS240 actively scans for conflicting Command Stations at Power up, any time Track power is turned ON, and additionally about every 2 minutes.  If another Command Station is detected the DCS240 will issue 10 long beeps and the Track Power is turned off.  The DCS240 will not allow track power to be turned on until the offending command station is removed from LocoNet or converted to a booster. In most cases it is easy to disconnect sections of the LocoNet wiring until a track power ON command is successful, and this connection typically leads to the offending unit that is in Command Station mode instead of being a Booster.

On modular layouts it is possible and/or common to connect and power up random LocoNet sections at setup or maintenance times, so having this continuous diagnostic screening capability ensures the layout is always configured so it will run properly and consistently.

 

When I hook up my USB cable to my PC the DCS240’s blue USB led turns on, but Digitrax DigiIPL II, LocoMon and SoundLoader II utilities do nothing when opened. What is the problem?

The blue USB led lit on the DCS240 means that the complex USB Enumeration and startup sequence has successfully completed. 

Be sure to select the correct COM port number that is now associated with this DCS240 in the software you are trying to use.  You can see this COM number appear in the “Ports (COM & LPT)” entries of e.g. the Device Manager function of Windows, etc. The DCS240 USB drivers are 100% compatible with and identical to those of the PR3 on the Digitrax web site, and installation steps are outlined there for some different PC’s.

In operation the USB and LocoNet message traffic are mutually visible, and the blue USB led will wink when a USB message is received from the PC, and the red LOCONET led will wink with any LocoNet message traffic.

 Also make sure you only have one Digitrax Utility open at a time.  When SoundLoader II is active the program track is switched to sound programming only and is inaccessible to LocoNet, and no USB messages are exchanged with LocoNet.  This means you will only be able to use the other Digitrax Utilities once you have exited SoundLoader II. Exiting from SoundLoader II will restore normal USB and Programming track access.

 Make sure you have not disconnected and reconnected the USB connection.  If you physically disconnect the USB cable to the DCS240, you will need to close any Digitrax Utilities you have and then reopen them after the DCS240 is reconnected.

 

Notes on IPL updating the DCS240:

Using the DCS240 USB to PC connection is the fastest and most reliable way to IPL/download any DCS240 firmware using DigiIPL II and the correct product update file(.dmf) from the Digitrax web site. Do not use earlier versions of DigiIPL for updating the DCS240, Only DigiIPL II should be used.  It is also possible to do an IPL/download to a DCS240 via LocoNet using an e.g. MS100, PR3 or compatible PC connection.  This method is considerably slower.

Notes on IPL updating DT402 Throttles to R2

DT402 throttles can be updated to R2 using any compatible PC connection, including the DCS240 and PR3.  Always make sure you are using the latest version of DigiIPL to update your hardware.

When updating DT402D throttles the RF24 module must also be updated to the latest RF24 firmware.

If you encounter any issue updating your DT402 throttle, the IPL update process can be repeated to resolve any issues.  Occasionally running the update twice or 3 times may be required.  If your throttle gets stuck displaying “IPL run” or several dim gray squares on the screen, remove the battery and disconnect from LocoNet to reset the throttle.  Wait a few minutes and try the IPL process again. 

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